Bellingham Housing – Moving Out

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This is the time of year when students are leaving their old rentals and moving away.  Congratulations.  You’re doing what at least 50,000 redneck racist hillbillies have tried and failed for 50+ years.  🙂

Here’s your guide to moving out.


Don’t pay your last month’s rent

Students are gullible.  You probably spent the past year paying more rent than everyone else in Bellingham and you probably paid a huge deposit.  Don’t pay your last month’s rent.  If you do, you’ll never get your deposit back.  Ever.

Washington state laws protect renters but you have to go to court.  It’s easier than most people think to take your landlord to court.  You file a few simple papers and tell the judge what your landlord did and you usually win.  But if you come from another city or another state and are only here for school, the landlord is counting on you not taking the time to come back up here to go to court.

Landlords will threaten to put this on your credit report but they rarely do.  If they do, you can contest it and have it removed.


Don’t clean your rental

If you’re a tidy person and reasonably clean, don’t go to the expense and time of cleaning your rental.  Normal wear and tear are covered by the Landlord Tenant Act.  Let the landlord clean it.  That’s part of their job.  Don’t let the landlord charge you for cleaning it either.  If you followed the first rule, and didn’t pay your last month’s rent, then you’ll be leaving without the landlord holding your deposit over your head.


Don’t move on the last day of the month

Rental trucks and other moving supplies are always at a premium on the last day of the month.  A better time to move is the first week of the following month.  You’ll save money and time.


Make it a party

It’s much easier to get friends to help you move if you give them free pizza and beer afterward or plan a party the next day when everyone is exhausted.  You’ll feel better too.  🙂

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